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A man who is unsure of nearly everything. Picture the voice of Droopy the Dog or for the more politically minded, Senate Majority Leader Henry Reid. MR.MULLINS The booming voice of a CEO. The voice of a man who’s never wrong. The voice of a man who takes credit for every idea. In his agency, he is Alpha and the Omega. SCENE – INT. CEO OFFICE - DAY Scene opens in a corner office of what we can only assume is a very high floor of an office high-rise. The office is lavish, possibly that of the CEO or CMO at Kellogg’s. It is 1951. A skyline view of a city is seen beyond a dark wooden desk, where there sits a man, Mr. Mullins, diligently working and very well kempt. It is his office. Plush leather chairs are stationed in front of his desk, waiting for his next appointment. Guy enters into the doorframe and stops immediately before entering the office. Guy knocks, Mr. Mullins remains consumed in work, Guy knocks again, this time harder, no answer, Guy begins to leave, thinks better of it, fakes a cough, and this time Mr. Mullins looks up. GUY Mr. Mullins…? I …. Hope I’m not interrupting anything important but--MR. MULLINS Everything is important. GUY Y-yes, Mr. Mullins. Of course it is. I’m terribly sorry for interrupting; I’ll come back later. MR.MULLINS Why?
GUY Why? (pause) Because you seem busy now and I don’t want to interrupt. MR.MULLINS You already have. GUY Have what? MR.MULLINS Interrupted me! (pause) Why? GUY Why what? MR.MULLINS (sternly but slowly) Why have you interrupted m? Certainly you came here for a reason. You had a purpose in knocking, at least I would hope. There is a reason for you being here, is there not, Guy? GUY Yes. Of course there is. (Long pause, Mr. Mullins raises his brows in anticipation) Oh! Ah… Those guys over at Leo Burnett just got back to us with their ideas for the spokesperson for --- --MR.MULLINS Spokes-toon. GUY Yes, spokes-toon for --MR.MULLINS (To himself) I like that term. Should’ve been an ad man myself.
GUY (Distracted) What was that Mr. Mullins? MR.MULLINS Nothing. Continue, please. GUY Yes… Um, the ideas for the “spokestoon” for Sugar Frosted Flakes. (Pause) MR.MULLINS Continue…. GUY Continue? Yes, right… well, do you want to see them? They’re really quite clever. All the boys over in marketing really got a kick out of them. And they’ve got little sketches for each of the ideas. They were all drawn by some famous illustrator… (he searches through his file) Martin Provensen. MR.MULLINS The children’s book author? GUY Yes, I believe so. MR.MULLINS No, I don’t need to look at them. Just read me the names. (He spins around his chair and gazes out the window.) GUY Very well. The first one is Katy the Kangaroo, the second - MR.MULLINS Too girly. GUY
Pg. 4 -- second one is Elmo the Elephant, and the - MR.MULLINS Too fat. GUY - - the third is Newt the Gnu. MR.MULLINS (Spinning back around) What the hell is a gnu? GUY I don’t know sir, but from the looks of the drawing it appears to be an African Wildebeest looking thing. MR.MULLINS Then why the hell wouldn’t they just call him a wildebeest? GUY I suppose because it would ruin the alliteration. And it doesn’t rhyme with Newt. Yeah… Newt the Wildebeest doesn’t work very well at all. MR.MULLINS Then why not call him Willy the Wildebeest! Jesus Christ do I have to think of everything!?! (Pause) We’re slipping Guy. We’re slipping fast and if we don’t get a grip now, we’re going to open ourselves up to all kinds of competition and somebody else is going to be the one to capitalize on kids. How could the have happened? We invented spokes-toons! We invented them to sell to kids. Snap, Crackle, and Pop… elves to sell cereal to kids for Christ-sake! It was revolutionary! Genius! And we did it all without the help of some crappy hot-shot Chicago advertising agency, I can tell you that much. (Pause)
Pg. 5 What’s General Mills doing? Huh… What do those bastards over at General Mills have? Huh… Have you heard anything? GUY Actually, they just introduced Lucky. MR.MULLINS Who? GUY He’s this leprechaun, for this new cereal Lucky Charms, and he has a whole bowl of marshmallows in all sorts of shapes and colors mixed in with these grainy hoops and things. And all the kids seem to just love it. MR.MULLINS Marshmallows in cereal? Com’on Guy! Let’s be real for just one second, mom’s will never buy their children a bowl of marshmallows for breakfast. That’s just ridiculous. GUY It’s actually selling really well. MR.MULLINS Ahhhh! Damn it. (Slams his fist on desk) How is that even possible!?! A leprechaun? A leprechaun to sell sugar marshmallows cereal? A leprechaun! I never would have thought anyone would want the imagery of some imaginary midget McIrishman getting his greasy little fingers all over their kid’s breakfast cereal. GUY Well… we came up with elves to sell cereal. MR.MULLINS Don’t mock me Guy. (Pause, then under his breath)
Pg. 6 A leprechaun. It’s perfect…bastards. (Then to Guy) I suppose there’s a bowl of marshmallows at the end of a magic rainbow too? GUY (Surprised) You’ve seen the ads. MR.MULLINS Then they do have a magic rainbow! Ahhh! Get out of here. Tell Leo Burnett to get back to the drawing board immediately; we need Sugar Frosted Flakes on the shelves now! Hell, we needed them on the shelves three months ago. GUY Yes sir. I will sir. (Remains standing beside Mr. Mullins desk) MR.MULLINS Yes Guy? GUY There was this other idea for a tiger… Tony the Tiger? I was afraid to show you after your reaction to Newt the – MR. MULLINS A tiger….? I like the sounds of that. What’d you say his name is? GUY Tony the Tig - MR.MULLINS Tony the Tiger. Show me the sketch; do you have the sketch? (Guy shuffles through the folder, finds the sketch and hands it to Mr. Mullins) What the hell is this? You can’t put pants on a cartoon animal!
GUY No? MR.MULLINS No. And you can’t put pants on a spokes-toon either. It’s absurd. Did Donald Duck ever wear pants? GUY No… MR.MULLINS No. GUY But he didn’t sell cereal either. MR.MULLINS Watch it Guy. Tell the agency to lose the pants. And what about this scarf thing? GUY You want me to tell them to scratch the scarf too? MR.MULLINS Yeeesss! Jesus Christ. Only fags and Frenchmen wear red scarves. Or any color scarf for that matter. Although…. I suppose… maybe we keep the scarf. We could call em Frosted French Flakes. Frosted Frenchy Flakes. Frosted Flakey Frenchers. Maybe 3 F’s for short. Can’t you hear it? Kid’s screaming in the aisles at grocery stores across the country, ‘Mommy I want my 3 F’s!’ Why even babies could say it. 3F’s! 3F’s? No that doesn’t sound too good, does it? No, that’ll never catch on. Fuck! GUY Do you still want to scratch the scarf? MR.MULLINS (Long pause, deep breath)
Pg. 8 Scratch the scarf. It’s too French. GUY No scarf. No pants. Yes tiger. MR.MULLINS But he can’t be a completely naked tiger spooks-toon. Tell them to come up with something, anything, for him to wear. But make it good. GUY The scarf did do really well in the focus group. MR.MULLINS It did? GUY Yes. MR.MULLINS Why didn’t you say so? (Long pause) Well? GUY Oh, sorry. I thought that was a rhetorical - - --(Trails off) I didn’t know you wanted to know. Sorry. Sorry, Mr. Mullins. MR.MULLINS Yes, yes. You didn’t know, I didn’t know. What the fuck do any of us know anymore? (He walks back towards the window and gazes out) This world is changing Guy. Changing so fast it’s going to be hard to keep up. Actually… (Chuckles) I’m afraid I might have already fallen behind. Advertising is changing. Radio is dying, the future is being written right now, and it’s television. Soon
Pg. 9 it’s only going to be television advertising and nobody will even remember those days of radio advertising. It’s all catchy slogans and jingles, rhymes and alliterations, spokesmen and spokes-toons. Ten years ago leprechauns would have never been used to sell bowls of marshmallows. And tigers… ha, forget it. It would’ve never worked. Who knows what people will want to hear five years from now. Or next year for that matter. Or what’s going to pull at the heartstrings of mom’s as they peruse the aisles. But damn it, it’s our job to find out. (Sighs) Go on. Back to work. Tell Leo Burnett to move forward with this Tony the Tiger character. GUY Yes sir. (Starts to leave) MR.MULLINS Guy? GUY (Turning back around) Yes, Mr. Mullins? MR.MULLINS Does this Tony the Tiger have a saying or some sort of catch phrase? GUY (Starts rummaging through the file again) Yes. One second, let me find it. They did have something. Ahhh… Here it is: (Reads) “They’rrr-rr-rr-rr-re Sugary Sweet and Delicious!” MR.MULLINS (Long pause) That’s terrible. Simply awful. Tell
Pg. 10 them to work on that too. Tell them to come up with something better. Something like: “They’rrr-rr-rr-re Good?” No that’s not it. Not that simple. We need something more dynamic. Something with pop. Sizzle. Tell them to make it really sing. GUY Yes sir. I will. (Starts to leave again) MR.MULLINS And Guy? GUY Yes sir? MR.MULLINS In the meantime, send in that Sugar Smacks development team. GUY Yes sir. MR.MULLINS We need to get a jump start on those bastards at General Mills – something they wouldn’t ever think of. Something like Kellogg’s Cliffy the Clown Sugar Smackers… Yeah that’s it. Or at least something like that. I can see it now… Guy exits the office; Mr. Mullins sits back at his desk and begins writing diligently. FADE TO BLACK: END SCENE
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